[TCPP-announce] NSF/TCPP Core Curriculum Initiative for Undergraduates – Call for Early Adopters

Sushil K. Prasad sushil.prasad at gmail.com
Tue Dec 21 23:09:17 EST 2010

Dear All:

As you know, a working group has been busy throughout this year on
formulating a core curriculum on parallel and distributed computing (PDC).  Our
premise is that *all* students graduating with a Bachelors degree in
Computer Science or Computer Engineering are expected to have covered the
proposed set of core topics.  I am pleased to announce the release of the
preliminary version of our proposed curriculum, now available at the
Curriculum Initiative’s website:
http://www.cs.gsu.edu/~tcpp/curriculum/index.php.  This is expected to
engage the various stakeholders for their feedback and early adoption.  The
document produced by the working group contains an introductory write up on
curriculum’s need and rationale, followed by the proposed topics, level of
coverage, and learning outcomes, and additional material in the appendix on
suggestions on how to teach individual topics, a cross-reference matrix on
core courses vs. topics, and a sample PDC course.

I want to thank the members of this working group for their guidance,
vision, and participation, and to the select group of reviewers at various
stages.   Special thanks go to the diehards among us who persevered through
many of the weekly/bi-weekly tele-meetings for the last eight months and who
helped draft the document: Anshul Gupta (IBM Watson), Andrew Lumsdaine
U), David Padua (Urbana-Champaign), Viktor Prasanna (U Southern California),
Arnold Rosenberg (Colorado State U), Alan Sussman (U Maryland), and Chip
Weems (U Massachusetts).

We are seeking early adopters of the curriculum for winter/spring terms of
2011 (and later) in order to get an evaluation of our proposal.  The early
adopters would be (i) instructors of core courses, such as CS1, CS2,
Systems, and Data Structures and Algorithms (ii) instructors of
elective/advanced courses, such as those on PDC, architecture, algorithm,
programming language, and software engineering, and  (iii) department
chairs, and members of department curriculum committees, who are responsible
for core CS/CE courses.  For proposing to be an early adopter, email us your
brief plans for integrating and evaluating some of the proposed topics into
your core/elective course, or if you already teach such an integrated course
which can benefit from the proposed curriculum (sprasad at gsu.edu).  Some seed
level funds are available for early adopters (U.S. and internationally) with
support from NSF and Intel.   If you have relevant resources that community
at large can benefit from (such as sample integrated course syllabus, course
module/content, books and tutorials, hardware/software tools), please
contribute as well.

In tandem, we have also planned “The
<http://tcpp.cs.gsu.edu/?q=nsf-tcpp-pdce-workshop>Ist NSF/TCPP Workshop on
Parallel and Distributed Computing
on May16, 2011, in conjunction with IPDPS-11, Anchorage, Alaska.   This
workshop will have a theme of “undergraduate education,” where early
adopters and others will share their experiences.   The submission deadline
for this workshop is  Jan 31.

I am writing to you from India, where we just had a NSF/TCPP informal panel
at HiPC-10 announcing the release of this curriculum and the early adopter
program.  I want to thank the panelists Almadena Chtchelkanova (NSF), Viktor
Prasanna (USC), and Manish Parashar (NSF and Rutgers).  We will also have a
panel/session at SIGCSE-11 in Dallas in March.


Sushil K. Prasad

TCPP Chair
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